It's a boy!

picture of Adam

Today my life changes with the birth of my son Adam! After a lengthy labour he was born at 5:51am this morning. Jacinta went through a labour from hell for 30 hours but her heart melted when she laid eyes on Adam.

I would write more, but I’ve only had 4 hours sleep over the past 2 days and I need to hit the leaba.

A Dad's scary moment

Kav’s scary moment #1 was the birth of his daughter. Our baby still hasn’t made an appearance and it looks likely we’ll be going to the hospital tomorrow evening. I doubt I could describe the event as well as Kav has, so if you’ve been through the experience, go read his blog post. If you haven’t, go read it anyway, it’s written very well and worth a few minutes of your time!

It’s an emotional bungee jump, is why. Frozen panic masked as calm, driving with jittery, awkward limbs. The rush of the brief heroics when you’re playing the rescuer, flying it down the corridor with a wheelchair containing your bellowing wife and your soon-to-be first-born. The feeling of being absolutely useless to her while she goes through this.

There is nothing you can do, so you mask your uselessness with words of support, while the midwives calmly go through the motions for the tenth time that night.

Can dogs tell when a woman is pregnant?

Sorry, yet another pregnancy related post but it’s been a strange day. Our dog Oscar has always been protective of my wife Jacinta. He has always preferred her company to mine or anyone else’s, but recently he’s become a lot more agitated.

My sister and her boyfriend called over this afternoon and Oscar was on edge the whole time. Instead of playing with the ball he would growl and almost even bit me when I made to take the ball off the ground. Later he growled and bit at my shoe when I sat down next to Jacinta at the dinner table, an act for which I punished him with a few minutes outside the kitchen door.

This evening we took him for a walk and instead of running or walking quickly he walked near us, looking back the whole time, then walked behind and next to us, staying with us as we walked slowly up the road.

I’m convinced he knows the baby is on the way. These answers on Yahoo Answers to the question, Can dogs sense when a woman is pregnant? are fairly unanimous that yes, dogs can tell. I don’t think pets are psychic however!

Here are a couple of great tips and answers to some pregnancy related questions.

Does my dog know that I am pregnant?
What reactions might my dog have to my pregnancy?
What can I do about any negative reactions I see in my dog?

I really need to get Twitter’s number into my mobile, just in case..

Eva Herzigova is loving pregnancy

Today’s Sunday Times reveals that Eva Herzigova loves being pregnant. She is 7 months pregant by long term boyfriend Gregorio Marsiaj.

“I’m just so happy. I want to be pregnant for the next 10 years,” she declares with a beatific smile. Pregnancy, she says, has changed her life. “I feel so powerful. You have no idea. But it’s an inner power. You are so content with just being. That’s how it is. I feel so confident about my body. I feel so potent. You feel like you have your mission, and it’s empowering.”

You should have seen my wife’s face when she told me that. She’s two days overdue now and her expression spoke volumes!

Eva does have a refreshingly normal outlook on getting back into shape though,

She has no intention of following Heidi Klum’s example. The German supermodel posed in lingerie on the Victoria’s Secret’s catwalk just weeks after giving birth to her second child. “I’m not thinking about getting back into shape,” she says, patting her bump. “I just want to enjoy this. I’m not like one of those celebrity people who would die to get back into shape. If people want to take pictures of me being round, they will take pictures of me being round. I think it’s important to show your true self and how you are — you don’t have to be in perfect shape or skinny shape.”

Let’s hope she feels the same way at 9 months..

Continue reading “Eva Herzigova is loving pregnancy”

More fun at the hospital

We spent over 2 hours this morning at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH). Little had changed since last week. Appointments were still impossible to make so Jacinta was told to come in early and wait.

It was crowded last week, but if anything, it was worse today. Most seats were taken but it’s a funny thing about some people – even when there are seats to sit on they’ll continue to stand. Even heavily pregnant mothers. I can’t figure it out. Martyrs?

This last week has seen Ireland sweltering under a blistering warm sun and conditions in the hospital were as stuffy as before. I stood near a radiator in the corridor and was shocked to find it was lukewarm. Expectant mothers looked on in disbelief when I mentioned this!

You’ll meet all sorts in the hospital. All races and creeds are represented in those hallways and unfortunately Irish racism is alive and kicking. A man at the end of the corridor was heard to say, “I should learn a foreign language and get an interpreter. We’d be seen sooner.” Shortly afterwards, his partner commented on the pronouciation of a foreign doctor saying that it was hard to understand him.

Good news however, I’ll be a dad within the next 7 to 8 days (hopefully). Due date is tomorrow but if nothing happens, Jacinta will be induced by the end of next week.

In related matters, Justin provides a transcript and commentary on Green Party candidate Patricia McKenna’s assertion on national radio that there’s a link between MMR and autism. That link has been discredited and I’m following this closely, but all it takes is one comment from the parent of an autistic child to make me doubt my convictions. Conor has more to say on the matter too.

He also reported a few weeks back that children in a Cork creche were found to have Tuberculosis (TB). Munster, the southern region of Ireland, does not have a programme in place to vacinate babies and children, but after the recent outbreaks, the HSE will introduce it later in the year. The vaccine is called BCG and has been administered in all other parts of the country. The Wikipedia page on Tuberculosis has a lot more information on the disease.

More and more bloggers I read are becoming parents. Maybe I’ve become more aware of the announcements, or maybe it’s simply that they are at that stage in life when they’re starting or expanding families. Remember when you and all your friends were celebrating your 21st birthdays?

Harney forces Cork midwives to resign

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The Minister for Health, Mary Harney, has a lot to answer for. Nurses, midwives, consultants and other staff in the newly opened Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) are stretched to the limit coping with the pressure of expectant mothers and babies from the original three maternity hospitals in the city.

Cork University Maternity Hospital

We spent over two hours in a stuffy, crowded and very warm waiting area to be seen by a midwife and a consultant this morning. It was in stark contrast to the empty hallways and calm of the hospital just two weeks ago when we were given a tour of the facilities and offered a glimpse of a gleaming high-tech maternity environment. Pregnant women, partners and children waited in the sweltering heat while staff were run off their feet. The waiting area was unfortunately too small, there weren’t enough seats, and pregnant women had to make do by leaning against the walls of the corridors while waiting to be seen.

Despite the pressure, staff were as nice as always. Midwives were considerate, helpful and professional, but when asked about how things were going I heard that 2 had resigned and 4 had taken sick leave. As well as being short staffed to begin with, the remaining staff are even worse off now. Some workers are pulling 11 hour days.

Did I forget to mention that this 75 million Euro hospital doesn’t have air conditioning? Can you imagine the heat and mood in a small area where the only air comes from 2 slightly ajar windows and from internal corridors? It wasn’t nice. At least the two expensive flat screen LCD screens on the walls kept us occupied with day time TV courtesy of TV3. Oh yeah, that’s what we need.

Thanks to Mary Harney’s bullying tactics last week the hospital opened a week late on Saturday last. She had threatened to find a different use for the building if midwives didn’t accept her terms and move to the new hospital. Midwives and consultants protested that staffing levels weren’t high enough and I bore witness to that shortage this morning. Even the computer system there is broken and not expected to be working until this evening. No appointments could be made so women had to come on a first-come-first-served basis to the morning clinic. One woman we met there had been there since 8.30am. We arrived at 11am. Apparently it was even worse on Monday.

Teething problems with a new hospital? Perhaps, but if Mary Harney wanted the hospital opened a week previously shouldn’t those problems have been sorted out then?

Truly, healthcare is a vocation. I couldn’t do it. The midwives and staff deserve all the support they can get.

I forgot to ask the midwife

We’re just back from our first ante natal class and I forgot to ask the most important question that every dad wants to know,

Can the prospective dad get a few gulps of the gas and air?

I did remember to ask another important question.

When the baby is upside down in the womb, does the blood run to it’s head? Is the baby in a constant state of wooziness?

Apparently the unborn baby’s blood runs in the opposite direction to your’s or mine. When a baby is born two valves close off in the heart and the blood flows in the right direction! So much happens when a baby is born, they must start breathing for themselves, they have to heat themselves.. Complicated business.

Brenda Power writing in the Sunday Times has a very positive article about older mothers. This is a subject close to my heart because my pregnant wife will be 42 on her next birthday, although if you met her you’d hardly know it! I would link to the article but the Times Online website has been redesigned. They’re looking for feedback so here’s mine. I don’t mind the new colours, it’s not as cluttered as other news sites, but some of the database and archive functionality could be improved. When I tried to view last Sunday’s Sunday Times content the drop down didn’t work, and searching for “Brenda Power” in the search box returned zero results! Does she still work for you? Looking forward to seeing those problems fixed because half the enjoyment of reading the newspaper is that I can blog it later!

One more criticism of the new Sunday Times website – not all articles are available there. The two I wanted to blog about this week are missing in action, presumed lost in the server somewhere. Please fix it! *sob*